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Decision in Maltese Dental Technologists Case

Court reaffirms that protection of health and life of humans take priority in EU Treaties


The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) judgement from 21 September 2017 (Case C-125/26) reaffirmed that Member States may determine the degree of protection which they wish to afford to public health and the way in which that degree of protection is achieved. Since the levels vary between Member States, they must be allowed a measure of discretion. 


Starting point of the case was a court proceeding in Malta, in which the plaintiffs – clinical dental technologists - are seeking official recognition for the profession of ‘Clinical Dental Technologist’ in Malta to enable clinical dental technologists from other EU Member States or Maltese nationals who obtained the relevant qualifications from another EU Member State to freely and autonomously practice in Malta.  


As a result of its considerations, the Court followed that the protection of public health constitutes an overriding reason in the general interest capable of justifying a restriction of the freedom of establishment and that it is appropriate for a Member State to require compulsory intermediation of a dental practitioner to protect patients’ health and safety. The case is now referred back to the Maltese Court.


The Council of European Dentists (CED) welcomes this judgement and urges the Commission and Member States to ensure that the protection of public health is considered as a priority in policy making. 



For more information contact:
CED Brussels Office
Tel: + 32 2 736 34 29

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